8 million people hear about digital radio as industry unites for launch

In an unprecendented show of industry solidarity, more than 40 different radio stations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide have put rivalries aside and broadcast simultaneously to a combined breakfast audience estimated at more than 8.5 million people in a massive outside broadcast to promote digital radio.

Commercial, ABC and SBS stations were side my side in open marquees in the main squares of Australia’s top five radio markets, with huge crowds of office workers stopping to sample free coffees and snacks and take a look at their favourite presenters.

The open air studios did make a great setting for a few pranksters, with Triple M’s breakfast presenter Paul Murray using an Airhorn to get noticed on many stations simultaneously. The reaction from rival stations ranged from amused to disgusted, as this audio shows.

Another station making its mark was Supernetwork’s Gorilla Radio, which launched today as part of the Sydney event. Breakfast presenter Mike Goldman is seen below right with the station’s music director.

While ARN’s new digital station The Edge Live Sexy was represented at each of the launches (see photo at bottom of page), curiously most other ARN stations were not present.

In a world first, all metropolitan commercial radio stations played the same piece of audio at 7.40 am to promote digital radio. Kyle and Jackie O were noticably absent from the Sydney audio. Listen to the audio used in each city at the links below.

Sydney audio,

Melbourne audio,

Brisbane audio,

Adelaide audio,

Perth audio.

The four minute audio piece featured competing commercial breakfast show presenters in each market describing their most memorable radio moment or a moment they would like to hear in the future, over a re-working of the song, You’re The Voice, performed by New Artist to Radio winner Emma-Louise Lobb.

Commercial Radio Australia chief executive officer Joan Warner says the aim of the Radio United outside broadcasts and the playing of the audio piece is to demonstrate the importance of radio in Australian listeners’ lives. “In the audio piece we illustrate the power of radio broadcasting and the effect it has on people.”

Each city location had a digital radio Listening Post (pictured left) where digital radio manufacturers:

Roberts, Sangean, Yamaha, iRiver, Bush, Revo, Grundig and Pure showcased a range of digital radios and enabled listeners to hear and see digital radio on a variety of different receivers.

The Harvey Norman store just next to the OB site in Sydney was offering discounted radios on sale for those who attended the event today, and stores in each city had radios on sale at special prices.

The first screen based digital radio now available in Australia, the iRiver B30, was on display in each state and highlighted the new visual aspects of digital radio (see more details in our other story).


A fully fitted out car showed how listeners can hear digital radio while driving with the Pure Highway digital radio adaptor.


Many radio people commented to radioinfo that perhaps today’s highly successful ‘United’ OB could become a regular annual event where all radio stations unite to promote a cause or celebrate the birthday of digital radio, sending a strong message about the continued viability of the radio medium.

The Melbourne Launch was held in Federation Square, attracting hoards of morning commuters as they streamed out of Flinders Street station.



And in Adelaide, breakfast presenters from the city’s radio stations were all ears to the benefits of digital radio at the Victoria Square launch event.



Brisbane Launch at Reddacliff Place.



Perth launch at Forrest Place.



Sydney launch at Martin Place. While this photo was being taken, some of the stars made snide comments about the absence of Kyle and Jackie O from the broadcast while they are off air after the Lie Detector incident.



Lots of great, serious and funny photos were taken by many people at the simultaneous launches, but we think this one below is the best. radioinfo’s snapper at the Melbourne launch got this photo of ARN’s new Edge Live Sexy station at Federation Square. He asks:

Could the New EDGE Digital station be offering more than clear radio sound? (Live Sex) Their signage was being covered by part of their promo tent.



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